Burnaby has opened up its four cooling centres to provide heat relief as temperatures rise this week.
The cooling centres will operate from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, until the extreme heat ends, at the following locations:
- North Burnaby
- Cameron Community Centre (9523 Cameron St.)
- Eileen Dailly Leisure Pool & Fitness Centre (240 Willingdon Ave.)
- South Burnaby
- Bonsor Recreation Complex (6550 Bonsor Ave.)
- Edmonds Community Centre (7433 Edmonds St.)
The cooling centres are air-conditioned and equipped with seating, drinking water, washrooms and free public Wi-Fi.
The Society to End Homelessness in Burnaby is hosting two pop-up outdoor cooling locations, open 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at:
- Civic Square (Central Boulevard and McKay Avenue, outside Bob Prittie Metrotown Library)
- Kensington Park (Corner of Frances Street and Fell Avenue)
The outdoor locations include washroom facilities, drinking water, seating and free public Wi-Fi.
Tips to stay cool in hot weather
Cooling centres are not the only cool spaces during a heat wave. Libraries, community centres, shopping malls and city hall are all suggested as alternatives to staying indoors.
Residents can find the nearest cooling option using an online map of locations of cooling centres, pools, misting stations, spray parks and public water fountains.
Check in on family, friends and neighbours to ensure everybody is safe.
Fraser Health recommends making ice and readying jugs for water, as well as reviewing signs of heat stress.
City previously held information sessions on extreme heat
After last year’s devastating heatwave that killed 595 people in B.C., the City of Burnaby hosted a series of information sessions in May on cooling centres to inform residents of the dangers and warning signs of extreme heat.
Mayor Mike Hurley opened a session at Cameron Community Centre, saying heat waves will likely become much more frequent.
“We need to engage the community about how we're going to address these serious issues as we move forward,” Hurley told the Burnaby NOW.
Participants heard from experts at Environment and Climate Change Canada, Fraser Health Authority, as well as the City of Burnaby’s general manager for community safety and the city’s emergency management coordinator.
Speakers particularly stressed the importance of checking in on neighbours, friends and family members, suggesting people plan to check in with a “heat buddy” when temperatures rise.
“Planning for an emergency means that each and every one of us needs to do our best to prepare for the worst,” Hurley said.
Preparing for extreme heat
A variety of community groups hosted booths at the open house, providing information pamphlets on dealing with heat in a variety of situations, including different living situations and for pet owners.
Free buckets were provided to open house attendees, encouraging people to “self-douse” – that is, soaking your feet in water under 20 C, in order to lower your body's core temperature.
Burnaby Neighbourhood House is signing up volunteer drivers to pick up and drop off seniors from cooling centres around Burnaby. It’s also collecting donations of fans.
The Burnaby RCMP is preparing to hand out packages to unhoused people during heat events, including water, electrolyte powder packages, sunscreen, lip balm and granola bars.
Apps such as Environment Canada’s WeatherCan or the City of Burnaby’s Alertable can also keep residents aware of weather alerts and warnings.